The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, has established a high-level committee to make a decision regarding the national cricket team’s participation in the 2023
ODI World Cup
, which is set to take place in India later this year.
The committee, led by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, will thoroughly examine various aspects of Pakistan-India relations, the government’s stance on keeping sports and policy separate and the prevailing situation in India concerning players, officials, fans and the media.
Once the committee concludes its discussions, it will present its recommendations to Prime Minister Sharif, who is also the patron-in-chief of the
Pakistan Cricket Board
While the International Cricket Council (
) and the hosts Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have already announced the World Cup schedule, with expectations for Pakistan to travel to India and participate in the tournament starting from October 5, the PCB has informed them that the national team’s involvement depends on government clearance due to the strained relations between the two countries.
The committee comprises additional members such as Sports Minister Ahsan Mazari, Maryam Aurangzeb, Asad Mahmood, Amin ul Haq, Qamar Zaman Kaira and former diplomat Tariq Fatmi. These individuals will contribute their expertise in assessing the situation and formulating recommendations.
The PCB has indicated to the concerned ministers that a high-level security delegation will be dispatched to India to inspect the venues where Pakistan’s matches are scheduled to be held.
In related developments, Zaka Ashraf, the acting chairman of the PCB, and Salman Taseer, the chief operating officer, are scheduled to depart for Durban to attend ICC meetings. During these discussions, Ashraf is expected to address India’s repeated refusal to send its team to Pakistan, citing security reasons.
One of the highly anticipated matches of the World Cup will be the encounter between India and Pakistan, which is scheduled to take place at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on October 15.
Pakistan’s warm-up games will be held in Hyderabad, before their opening matches against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka at the same venue. The team is also set to play in Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
(With agency inputs)